Excitement & concerns greet launch of mobile sports betting in North Carolina

By on March 12, 2024



By Samuel King | WTKR
This story is brought to you through our news gathering partnership with WTKR News 3.
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 11, 2024 and last updated 7:54 PM, Mar 11, 2024

Mobile sports betting in North Carolina officially launched at noon on Monday, in time for the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament which begins on Tuesday and the upcoming NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments. People can use eight mobile apps to place bets, and more may be on the way.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s office released a video showing Cooper using a phone to make a bet at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

“The legalization of sports betting will provide a significant boost to North Carolina’s economy and will allow our thriving sports industry to continue to grow,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, D-North Carolina. “For the first bet in North Carolina, I’m taking the Carolina Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup. The winnings will be donated to the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation which helps children’s charities.”

Bars and restaurants are wagering that now that people no longer have to go to Virginia to place bets, they’ll see a boost in business.

“We’re interested to see how that’s going to pan out for us with customers,” said Mike Mischou, with Lucky 12 Tavern in Nags Head. “Obviously, we’re going to get some feedback from our customers directly. We’ll also going to be looking to, infrastructure-wise, strengthen our WIFI, maybe be a lot more prepared for the demand on the online services.”

People have been able to download the apps and load money on them in North Carolina since March 1. Some residents were looking forward to the opportunity to place bets.

“We used to do it up where we came from in Delaware and since we moved down here, it hasn’t really been offered until now,” said Josh Blaisdell, a customer at Lucky 12 Tavern.

The eight apps that can be downloaded currently are: FanDuel, BETMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, ESPN BET, Underdog Sports and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

People must be 21 years old to place a wager. Unlike in Virginia, people can bet on in-state college teams like Duke and UNC.

While officials are welcoming the launch of sports betting in North Carolina, they do remind people that March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

And at least $2 million in tax proceeds from sports betting will be allocated each year to services aimed at treating and preventing gambling addiction.

“That’s fantastic,” Blaisdell said. “That’s good they’re putting forth an effort like that while they’re legalizing this part of it.”

Funds will also be allocated to North Carolina Amateur Sports; 13 public universities; major events fund to help bring sporting events and festivals to the state; the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council and the state’s General Fund among other purposes, according to the governor’s office.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, some signs of problem gambling include:

  • Using sports betting to relieve stress or depressive feelings
  • Spending increasing amounts of time or money on gambling
  • Preoccupation and irritability when trying to cut back or not gambling
  • Placing bets on credit or with money allocated for other things
  • Chasing losses (gambling to earn back money that was lost gambling)
  • Lying or being secretive about gambling
  • Attempting to cut back without success
  • Only talking about wins and never losses

If you or someone you know may be developing a gambling addiction, you can call the North Carolina Problem Gambling Hotline at 877-718-5543 or text morethanagamenc to 53342.

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  • surf123

    The problem with legal betting is there are no limits and the amount of money you can gamble (lose) until you wipe out your credit cards and bank accounts. The plus to illegal betting was the bookie looked out for himself by keeping your betting in check to make sure you can repay him. A bookie will still clean you out, but only to the point he gets his money. Letting you go any farther in the hole is self-defeating. CC’s allow you go massively in the hole with no hope of digging out. The gambling companies have all your losses up front so they do not care.

    I’m all for gambling, but uncontrolled it will wreck households for those who cannot contain themselves and we know the companies running the betting will not stop you.

    Real-time betting and prop bets will be the downfall of many a gambler.

    Tuesday, Mar 12 @ 3:00 pm
  • OBX Resident

    Great to see that the Republican leadership in the State uses the Bible to seek bans on womens’ rights and other ‘sins’ such as homosexuality, but when it comes to big money and gambling, bring it on! 1 Timothy 6:10, which states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” This verse is often used to caution against the pursuit of wealth through activities like gambling, where the primary motivation can be monetary gain. I will make sure to pray for a winner as I am now able place some sinful bets in NC. The Republican leadership are a bunch of hypocrites. There picking of bible verses to enforce is better than Billy Strings picking on his guitar.

    Tuesday, Mar 12 @ 9:43 pm
  • Charles

    The addiction is real.. Good luck with that..

    Wednesday, Mar 13 @ 3:57 pm
  • Niccolo Donzella

    The Government hates vice unless it can get a piece of the action. State lotteries, marijuana sales – whatever. The social costs are externalized literally to the streets. Watch what happens to gamblers and kids using marijuana.

    Wednesday, Mar 13 @ 7:23 pm
  • Captain Quint

    @ surf 123
    I can see your point but I think you might be overlooking the main objective of a bookie. It’s not to have you repay him, it’s for you to be unable to pay him so he (his “associates”) can loan you the money you owe at 3 points a week (156% a year). You owe $1,000 – that’s $300 a week just in interest. And you know how most folks try to get ahead of that – they keep betting. Unlike a credit card where you can declare bankruptcy, your bookie and his associates never go away. Nothing good comes from gambling – legal or illegal.

    Wednesday, Mar 13 @ 10:11 pm
  • Currituck

    Is there anything more fare than a self imposed tax? No, there is not. Lottery, gamboling, cigarettes and alcohol are all taxed heavily but can be avoided by the individual.


    Thursday, Mar 14 @ 6:16 am